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Review: Enola Homes – “A movie that multiple generations can sit down together to enjoy”

Enola Holmes is a new adventure film starring Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Henry Cavill (Man Of Steel, Mission Impossible: Fallout, The Witcher), Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Snow White And The Huntsman). Brown plays Enola Holmes, younger sister to her more famous siblings, Sherlock (Cavill) and Mycroft (Claflin). Enola lives an idyllic life at the family home with her mother (Bonham-Carter), her father is long dead and her brothers, have been absent for many years. On her 16th birthday, her mother goes missing, prompting the return of her older brothers. Mycroft, the oldest sibling, decrees that Enola is to be sent to finishing school, run by the delightfully Victorian Miss Harrison (Killing Eve’s Fiona Shaw). Enola takes it upon herself to find her missing mother, following a handful of clues left behind, while evading capture by Mycroft, who is determined Enola is to become a ‘proper lady’.

Millie Bobby Brown’s performance as Enola is delightfully engaging, strong, and funny. When a film chooses to break the fourth wall as often as Enola Holmes, it often runs the risk of taking the audience out of the action, becoming too self-aware. The charisma and comic timing of Brown ensure that we never grow tired of her asides. Her performance immediately wins you over and this remains throughout the rest of the film.

The supporting cast is clearly having a great deal of fun in this revised Holmes universe. Claflin is suitably antagonistic as the embittered intellectual lesser of the three Holmes siblings. Helena Bonham-Carter revels as the mysterious and absent mentor figure for her daughter and Cavill is shrewdly cast as Sherlock, bringing charm to a character we are now used to being portrayed as distant and alienated by social interaction. Frances de la Tour is on fine aristocratic form as The Dowager, Adeel Akhtar is well cast as the ever-one-step-behind Inspector Lestrade, and Susan Wokoma is fearsome, yet warm as tea shop owner, Edith.

The script by Jack Thorne is based upon Nancy Springer’s first in the series of Enola Holmes books, ‘The Case Of The Missing Marquess’. It moves along at a bright and breezy pace, never dwelling too long, keeping us amused and entertained in equal measure. The direction from Fleabag and Killing Eve director, Harry Broadbeer is equally light-handed, ensuring both young and old have something to enjoy in this adventure.

The film is great fun and sets up what will hopefully become a long-lasting franchise of films. Enola Holmes is that most rare thing, a movie that multiple generations can sit down together to enjoy and will hopefully inspire many a younger viewer to seek out not only the Enola Holmes books but also those detailing the adventures of her older brother.

Enola Holmes is now streaming on Netflix.

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